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Perception of Watching Primetime Soap Opera

By SamboyJamon1 Apr 09, 2013 1442 Words

The following are reviews that show importance to the study; Foreign Literature, Local Studies and Foreign Studies.

In 2003 the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences added Best Reality Show as an Emmy category (Rowen, 2000) this has led to the development of many types of reality programming formats. The majority of reality television programming is geared towards the individuals under eighteen to twenty-five years old and suggests that younger viewers are drawn to these shows because they depict characters and situations that are relevant to their everyday lives (Frank, 2003). Reality television has gained a spot on network primetime television, where the reality genre shows began to target an older demographic. There is a variety of shows that still target the younger demographic, but now there are more shows that target a much wider demographic (Rowen, 2000).

According to Nabi (2003) examined the genre of reality television programming itself. Multidimensional space analysis, of all television shows, indicates that reality television is a genre that is distinct from all of the other preexisting genres; However, not all reality shows should be considered one cohesive genre. Two dimensions were found in the analysis, with the first one presented as a continuum as to how suited the programs are for primetime slot. The second dimension is fiction real. This is a continuum based on whether the programs were portrayed as fictional or realistic based shows. Some reality and entertainment shows were listed as fictional because for some reason, the audience did not perceive the show as realistic.

Some individuals included shows that were not necessarily reality based in their definition of reality programming because they perceived the shows as unrealistic like soap operas. Therefore, when studying reality television it is important to examine the subcategories within this genre. They include: romantic and culture (Bailey & Barbato, 2003). In this study examined not only reality television viewing as a whole, but also exposure to subgenres of reality entertainment television and reality television shows that people prefer to watch are those that stimulate the motives people intrinsically value the most (Reiss and Wiltz, 2004).


Studies of Silverstone (2000) the role of television in everyday life claims that soap operas on television allow women to engage and associate their own lives with alternative lifestyles and also to engage with contemporary social issues drawn from the complexities of family conflict, love and relationships. Another aspect of soaps as stories of everyday life that contributes to making it a source of mediated reality is that they often choose topical issues circulating within a society (Geraghty & Hobson 2003).

Soap operas are extremely accepted cultural forms, attracting more than 10 million viewers daily, the majority of which are females. From the economic point of view, they produce significant profits for the network. Regardless of their abilities to draw large number of audiences and to produce large profits, soap operas have long been seen as an object of disrespect. One of the criticisms leveled at soap operas is that they are slow-paced. Soap operas are multifaceted, with large characters and plot lines which build up slowly over large periods of time. Viewers tend to get emotionally involved to the characters in a soap opera (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

Viewers themselves penetrate vicariously into the imaginary soap opera community. There are many long-term audiences, some of whom have been watching soap operas for as long as 35 years. Soap operas are planned around a cylindrical cycle of the real world in which viewers live. The lives of characters run corresponding to the lives of viewers in time. Thus it is the time not plot which comes to control the description process (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

The organization of time and the durability of certain characters, allows the viewers to turn into very familiar with the character's histories, well ahead of the time-frame of any one episode. These histories are reactivated in the minds of long-time viewers in scenes where the characters talk about the implications of a particular occasion or action. Scenes filled with gossip are in fact essential to how events on soap operas are interpreted by audiences (Hasan Suroor, 2000).

Americans watch a lot of television; a study conducted in 1978 indicates that for a U.S. household, he television set is on an average of six hours and eleven minutes daily. At the same time as TV Audience program preferences are rationally well documented, the base for these preference lies in what the viewer is offered. Thus, an understanding of the quantitative rate and the qualitative content of what programs are available is a qualification to a more complete understanding and conceptualization of what the audience prefers.

Clearly, prime time is vital to the network. The program lineups assembled for this time period have been manufactured and designed to attract most viewership. Although less commercials minutes per hour are permitted in prime time, the actual dollars per second are much more expensive during these hours than any other times due to large number of audiences (Mazzarella, 2003).

For the network programmer, critical attention must be given to the calculated succession of the shows during the prime time. Successful television programming involves far more than simply arriving at come capricious sequence of program product. Of course, networks want to collect large, static audience for their prime time line-ups. There is also a desire to constantly increase one’s own audience size (Mazzarella, 2003).

The cultural environment of adolescents especially in Southern California has changed to include a large group of Latinos. This ever-increasing segment of the population has not been ignored by the television industry. Spanish language networks have expanded and developed to serve this growing audience. The most popular network in Southern California is Univision. Televisa, the largest broadcasting network in Mexico owns 25% of Univision (Rodriquez, 2003). Nearly 70 percent of Univision’s audience is Mexican or Mexican American. Univision, like its English language counterparts has created programs that attract teenagers to the set. The popular Spanish language network has attracted the teen audience with telenovelas that deal with teen issues, such as dating, peer pressure and parental issues, while using young actors to provide identifiable characters for this audience.

Another study on “Television and teenage girls”, sample of 200 adolescent girls was selected for the study and the locale of the study was Anantnag district. The study revealed that teenagers preferred to watch soft social comedy programs and avoided adventure and action oriented themes. The findings also revealed that teenage girls watch TV for 3-4hrs on an average but 28% watch more than 4hrs per day. Further the study revealed a direct association between time spent watching television and body weight. Television viewing decreases physical activity and increases the consumption of highly palatable foods that lead to obesity among adolescent girls (Yousuf Mohd, 2009).


Effects to the teens another form of teleserye is the teen-oriented ones which is now gaining popularity. This type of teleserye portrays teens with their most common characters – easy-going and curious. Even though, most of the teen-oriented teleseryes carry a positive theme, young adults view it as contradictory to what is really happening to the real world.

Teen-oriented and adult-themed teleseryes sometimes contradict each other. The first one conforms to what should and how should teens act while the latter exposes almost the real milieu. In turn, since the young minds of teens has the natural setting of whatever the adults do are good, young adults imitate them. Because of this, there is am alarming increase of teen-related issues such as pre-marital sex and pregnancy that leads to abortion, juvenile delinquencies, drug addictions, and prostitutions. Though some of these morbid scenarios are due to some factors such as peer pressure and family problems, we could not deny the fact that shows on the television, such as teleseryes, are one of the contributing elements (Taccao, 2012).

Teenagers in Metro Manila spend about three hours a day in front of TV screen. An average child estimated to have watched 5,000 hours of television and 25,000 hours by the high school. More time than would be spent in a classroom earning a college degree. It only shows that teenager can be affected by negative side or harmful thing that television may bring. Teenagers mind and perception will be cultivated by what they have seen. Teenagers will accept the fact about violence and may think that what they have seen is all true, real and right (De Leon, 2000).

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